Energetic thermites (mixtures of Al and metal oxides), due to their high energy densities and capacity for self-sustained reaction, are extremely energy efficient, and have broad practical applications ranging from propulsion, thermal batteries, material synthesis, waste disposal to power generation for micro systems. However, the major limitations of thermites as energetic materials is their long ignition delay times and high ignition temperatures. In order to understand and overcome those disadvantages, our groups works on synthesizing nano-scale energetic materials, which are effective in facilitating the ignition/reaction propagation process, and characterizing the burning rate and ignition performance.
Flash ignition of Al NPs and their thermite mixture with CuO NPs. (a) Schematic and (b) optical images of the experimental setup for ignition of Al NPs (davg = 60–96 nm) by a camera flash. Inset: photograph of the burning of flash ignited Al NPs which casts a yellow glow and lasts for about 10 s. (c) Photographs of the burning process of a thermite mixture of Al and CuO NPs ignited by a flash.
- "Flash ignition of Al nanoparticles: Mechanism and applications", Y. Ohkura, P. M. Rao, and X. L. Zheng, Combust. Flame, 158, 2544-2548 (2011). http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0010218011001581
- "Synthesis and ignition of energetic CuO/Al core/shell nanowires", Y. Ohkura, S.-Y. Liu, P.M. Rao, and X. L. Zheng,Proc. Combust. Inst., 33, 1909-1915 (2011). http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1540748910001148